Jesus is finished trying to convince Israel of who He is, but He did need to cement the faith of His disciples and that is what these next miracles are all about (Matthew 14:14-33).
The miracles Christ performed after John was killed finally brought the Disciples to the place where they truly identified Christ and worshipped Christ.
In this series of miracles, Peter surfaces for the first time as one who goes to the next level in his faith and from now on, in the book of Matthew, Peter will hold a key position.
MIRACLE #1—Jesus had compassion on people and healed their sick (Matthew 14:14).
Keep in mind most of these people have not believed He is the Messiah; they just want a sickness healed. Christ has just faced the loss of John and is contemplating the loss of His own life and these people are worried about their ailments. The word “heal” is the Greek word from which we get our English word therapeutic. The word means He cured these people medically (G Abbott Smith, Greek Lexicon, p.206)..When Jesus heals, it is always complete.
MIRACLE #2—Jesus told His disciples to feed several thousand people (Matthew 14:15-21).
Here is one of the most famous miracles Christ ever performed and it is the only miracle which shows up in all four gospels. It is truly a messianic miracle for the Jews had a tradition based on Deut. 18:15, which said when the Messiah comes He will feed Israel bread, just as Moses had given Israel manna.
This number was 5000 men, plus the women and children (Matthew14:21). It has been estimated that it is reasonable to conclude there were between 15,000 to 20,000 people at this meal. Now carefully notice verse 16: “But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!’”
According to John 6:5-9, Jesus wanted to test the disciples to see if they had faith in Him. Now they just have witnessed one miracle after another and they should have said “Okay, no problem when You are here.”
But look at verse 17, “They said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.’”
They still had not quite figured out who just gave them the order. They think it is about their physical abilities. When it comes to serving God, “duty is never measured by ability.” But Christ straightens that out by saying in verse 18–“Bring them here to Me.” Apparently as He was breaking the food into pieces, the pieces kept multiplying. In fact, they multiplied so much that there were 12 full baskets of broken pieces left over (Mathew 14:20).
MIRACLE #3—Jesus walks out to the disciples on the sea (Matthew 4:22-27).
Now according to verse 24, the boat is many stadia away from shore. A stadia was about 600 feet. John tells us that they were 3-4 miles out in the sea (John 6:19), which is about 25-30 stadia, and John was on the boat when this happened. Being a fisherman he certainly knew distances at sea better than Matthew.
These disciples are in this storm because they are in the will of God, doing exactly what God wanted them to do. They were safer in God’s will in a storm than out of God’s will on the shore. The time was in the fourth watch (v.14:25), which is between 3:00-6:00 in the morning. In the middle of the wind and storm, Jesus walks out on the water to the boat and when the disciples see Him walking on the sea (v.14:26) they are frightened to the point of being terrified and start crying out that there is a ghost.
No one would assume that the first thing they would say, in light of everything they have seen, here comes Jesus. But they irrationally scream that there is a ghost. Jesus, in verse 27, says don’t be afraid, “It is I.” The Greek reads “I am.”
MIRACLE #4—Jesus walks out to the disciples on the sea (Matthew 14:28-31).
There are only two people in all of history who have ever walked on water that was not frozen. Jesus and Peter. When Peter heard Jesus identify Himself, he called Him “Lord” and asked Jesus if He would command him to come to Him. Peter knew the truth that Jesus must command one to come to Him. Jesus told Peter to come and Peter got out of the boat and walked on water; he turned his back on his trembling friends and did something none of them ever did. Some of the greatest things we will ever see God do will come in the midst of troublesome times in a dark, stormy world.
MIRACLE #5—Jesus calms the wind (Matthew 14:32).
As soon as Jesus got in the boat, the wind ceased. This whole scene was designed to teach the disciples a lesson. They could accomplish great things if they kept their faith focused on Jesus Christ. Now notice verse 33–finally they worshipped Him and identified Him as God’s Son.
The word “worship” means they are finally reverencing and worshipping Christ in the same manner as God. It took all of these miracles, but they finally got it. They finally believed it.
1) When Jesus heals a person of sin, it is always a complete healing, not partial healing.
2) When it comes to serving God, our duty is not determined by our ability.
3) Doing God’s will sometimes mean we go straight into stormy situations.
4) Some of the greatest blessings we will ever experience will come in the midst of storms.
Pastor David E. Thompson is pastor/teacher at Texas Corners Bible Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a nationally syndicated radio show reaching all across the United States. Pastor Thompson may be classified as a true systematic Bible expositor and communicator of God’s Word. He carefully expounds books of the Bible in a way that is contextually, exegetically, grammatically, historically, and theologically accurate to the text and relevant to the time. He is also an very skilled in New Testament Greek